article on GPLv3, Linux kernel, and Devices Rigged to Malfunction

simo simo.sorce at
Tue Oct 24 12:29:00 UTC 2006

On Tue, 2006-10-24 at 13:14 +0100, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-10-24 at 21:55 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> > The terms of the GPL (any version) don't speak to "concern[...] with
> > post-violation compliance" or not. That's entirely up to the copyright
> > holder (or whoever is doing the enforcement).
> Actually, that's not right.
> One of the most important steps forward in the GPLv3 is the new rule of
> limitation - as a copyright holder, I cannot terminate the GPLv3 due to
> violation of terms if that occurred more than two months ago and the
> violator has since come into compliance. 
> The opens up a new, legally sound, route out of violation: people like
> Eben Moglen can go to violators and say, "If you come into compliance,
> you know that within two months your legal liability in this area is
> gone - the slate is wiped clean". The FSF, nor anyone else, can go back
> on an agreement they make and attempt to sue a violator outside that
> time.

This is wrong.
You are clean after 2 months if no copyright holder complains with you.

If the copyright holder send you a letter telling you he knows you are
violating, then the (C) holder can sue you whenever he wants after the

> Going back to my original point, I don't think anyone can sensibly argue
> that the requirement to publicise a shared secret code/key is not a term
> primarily concerned with post-violation compliance.  I don't think it's
> a big assumption to say the number of people designing secret systems
> that they know are going to be publicised has to be pretty small
> compared with the number of people who would have to later open a closed
> system.

This is not a problem of designing secret systems, all these systems are
pretty well known, what is unknown is the key to sign the hash of the
data. And the point is moot anyway, releasing keys in this case is
exactly like release the source code. You can expect the same level of
infringement imo.


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